Foodie Friday: From Mocha to Matcha

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Since one of my New Year's Resolutions this year was to drink less caffeine, I've made it a specific goal to give up coffee all together. (Well, I may still have the occasional decaffeinated Starbucks beverage, but that's besides the point.) I actually grew up not drinking coffee at all, but one exception led to another in the last couple of years and before I knew it I was drinking coffee way too often for my own personal comfort! I've always tried to avoid addiction in my life for personal and religious reasons, which is why I don't drink, smoke or anything like that, so when I caught myself sipping coffee because I felt like I "had to" to stay awake, or lose weight or whatever, I didn't feel great about myself. I've been searching for some alternative options to replace the coffee with without giving up caffeine all together, which is where matcha green tea powder comes into play. Green tea is the new black coffee anyway!Matcha is actually made by taking the highest quality (and greenest) tea leaves and grinding them up into a powder form. Instead of steeping your tea with a bag, you can mix the powder right into your beverage. It has a much stronger flavor and heightened health benefits as well. Matcha does contain natural caffeine, so I don't recommend drinking it in place of water because any caffeine should come in moderation, but I can say personally that it feels healthier than coffee in the way that it affects my body. One cup per day is perfect. Green tea is also a healthier option than black tea or energy drinks that contain harmful chemicals, etc. Matcha contains natural vitamins and antioxidants that are completely ingested while it aids your metabolism and concentration as well. Because of the strong flavor, I've been trying out a few different recipes and combinations to incorporate matcha into my life and here's my favorite so far: It's actually incredibly similar to a peppermint latte, just think matcha not mocha. As you continue your meditative matcha lifestyle, try cutting back on the added sugar for better results.

Peppermint Mocha meets Matcha

2 tsp matcha powder - Mix the powder with a few tablespoons of hot water very well. It should form a paste in your cup. The better you whisk or mix it at first, the less likely clumps or settling will appear later.

2 packets of sugar or sweetener... or a bit of honey or agave with two pumps peppermint syrup

and/or 2 tablespoons peppermint mocha creamer (my personal favorite)

Fill the rest of your cup up with milk or almond milk and voila!

I add ice to keep my drinks ice cold, the "watered down" thing doesn't bother me with this drink at all. This beverage may be enjoyed hot as well.

Here's another recipe I found on Pinterest that's amazing too.

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